Institutional Event

Building Resilience in Fragile, Conflict Affected, and Small Island Developing States

Monday, 3 May 2021, 1:30 pm–2:30 pm , GMT+8

Building Resilience in Fragile, Conflict Affected, and Small Island Developing States - 2021 Annual Meeting

Opening remarks

Bambang Susantono
Vice-President for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development, ADB


Alfred Alfred, Jr.
Minister of Finance, Banking, and Postal Services, Republic of the Marshall Islands

Mohammad Khalid Payenda
Acting Minister of Finance, Afghanistan

Christine Toetzke
Director for European Union and Multilateral Development Policy, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Germany

Ryutaro Murotani
Senior Director/Head, Office for Peacebuilding, Governance and Peacebuilding Department, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)

Leah Gutierrez
Director General, Pacific Department, ADB


Sanna Johnson
Regional Vice President, Asia, International Rescue Committee

Closing remarks

Bruno Carrasco
Director General, Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department, ADB


Samuel Tumiwa
Advisor, Conflict-Affected Situations, Thematic Advisory Service Cluster, Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department, ADB

Seminar summary

ADB is taking steps toward a more positive development impact in fragile and conflict-affected situations (FCAS) and small-island developing states (SIDS). ADB cannot continue doing business as usual and expect to find success in these countries. As recognized in ADB's Strategy 2030, a new model is needed for FCAS and SIDS that applies differentiated, context-driven approaches.

ADB Vice-President Susantono used the session to officially launch ADB’s FCAS and SIDS Approach (FSA), noting that the FSA will ensure that ADB provides the best support for FCAS and SIDS as they transition from fragility to stability, resilience, and social cohesion.

Mr. Alfred and Mr. Payenda spoke about the drivers of fragility in their respective countries. Mr. Alfred noted that many SIDS share similar problems: small size, remote locations, vulnerability to natural disasters, and narrow asset bases. Mr. Payenda welcomed the new FSA, stating, “projects that are not designed based on the context, including fragility, are set up to be failures.” Mr. Payenda also emphasized the importance of private sector investment in FCAS and SIDS—a common theme of the discussion.

While noting that standards are important, Ms. Toetzke cautioned against using “blueprints” in FCAS and SIDS. She praised the FSA’s embrace of multidimensions, from disaster risk to climate change, governance, and conflict. Mr. Murotani and Ms. Johnson spoke of the need for humanitarian and development actors to improve cooperation. “The need for aid is larger than ever, especially for fragile and conflict-ridden countries,” Ms. Johnson said. “But it has to be a better aid, a coordinated one.”

Ms. Gutierrez spoke of the challenges facing SIDS such as climate change and capacity constraints due to small populations, while highlighting the importance of ADB being in-country to address these hurdles and enhance understanding of contexts.

In wrapping up the session, Mr. Carrasco reaffirmed that the FSA will change how ADB works in FCAS and SIDS, with context-specificity and risk-informed decision making forming the foundation of ADB support.

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